Responsible Government in Britain

  • John Manning Ward
Part of the Cambridge Commonwealth Series book series

Abstract

The Upper Canadian reformers who during the 1830s sought responsible government were seeking, as historians have since agreed, to gain the established conventions of the British constitution. Some of the reformers, most notably Robert Baldwin, were certainly asking for what they believed to be the British constitution, promised in 1791 and modified by changing conventions. They sought, in respect of all the internal affairs of the colony, a parliamentary executive, instead of an executive council that was remote from the assembly and rarely changed in membership. They expected the governor to exercise a personal discretion in appointing and removing his advisers, whether individually or collectively, so as to keep them in harmony with the assembly. This system the reformers named ‘responsible government’, contrasting the responsibility that they wished members of the government to owe to the elected assembly with the lack of such responsibility in existing practice.3

Keywords

Prime Minister Free Trade Responsible Government Party Government Colonial Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© John Manning Ward 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Manning Ward
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SydneyAustralia

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